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Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, speaks during the second night of the first Democratic presidential debate on June 27, 2019 in Miami. (Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Denouncing Misleading Attacks and Lack of 'Fact-Based Analysis,' Sanders Campaign Fires Back at MSNBC

"More often than not these commentators are injecting their opinion without any policy discussions," said Nina Turner, national co-chair of the Sanders campaign

Jake Johnson

Sen. Bernie Sanders has never been shy about criticizing MSNBC, but the senator's 2020 Democratic presidential campaign is becoming increasingly vocal in calling out the self-styled liberal cable news network in response to a spate of attacks and misleading coverage from the outlet's hosts and contributors.

"There's no effort to push for fact-based analysis," an anonymous Sanders campaign official said of MSNBC in an interview with The Daily Beast, which reported Wednesday that tensions between Sanders and the Comcast-owned network have "reached a new peak."

The latest incident that sparked outrage from the campaign was MSNBC legal analyst Mimi Rocah's anti-Sanders diatribe during a segment over the weekend.

"Bernie Sanders makes my skin crawl," said Rocah. "I can't even identify for you what exactly it is. But I see him as sort of a not pro-woman candidate."

As Rocah suggested, without evidence, that Sanders is not a good candidate for women, MSNBC analyst Zerlina Maxwell—who herself came under fire in March for launching patently false attacks on Sanders—appeared to nod along and offered no pushback.

Briahna Joy Gray, national press secretary for the Sanders campaign, quickly pushed back against what she described as Rocah's "smears."

"It takes a certain kind of woman to ignore that education, healthcare, and the economy are women's issues too. #PrivilegedMuch?" Gray tweeted. "This is not what intersectional feminism looks like. It's corporate feminism at its finest. Full stop."

The Sanders campaign told The Daily Beast that, far from being an isolated incident, Rocah's tirade was part of a pattern of fact-free attacks that MSNBC has allowed to air completely unchallenged and without any alternative perspective.

"More often than not these commentators are injecting their opinion without any policy discussions," Nina Turner, national co-chair of the Sanders campaign, told The Daily Beast. "It doesn't even have to be 'rah rah rah, Bernie Sanders!' Just someone who would push back."

The Daily Beast cited frequent MSNBC guest Donny Deutsch's recent declaration that he would vote for President Donald Trump if Sanders wins the Democratic nomination as another example of the network's recent attacks on the Vermont senator.

"A socialist candidate," said Deutsch, "is more dangerous to this country as far as the strength and wellbeing of our country than Donald Trump."

According to The Daily Beast, Sanders has privately contacted MSNBC over its misleading coverage of his campaign and key policy proposals, such as Medicare for All.

An anonymous Sanders campaign official told The Daily Beast that attempting to correct the network's factual errors has become "a full-time job."

Sanders supporters on social media have also taken issue with perceived biased treatment of the senator's presidential campaign by MSNBC.

On Twitter, one Sanders backer posted a compilation of MSNBC segments that purports to provide an illustrative sample of the network's hostile coverage:

"Cable news allows that sort of spin to exist in the world in a way that doesn't get checked," a Sanders campaign official told The Daily Beast.


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